Donning a Cowboy Hat: The Dos and Don’ts of Stetson Etiquette

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Considered a symbol of heritage as well as a necessary component of one’s western wardrobe, the cowboy hat is not only a staple in Texas, but wearing one properly is practically a rite of passage. Owing to the variety of style and color choices available in today’s market, the cowboy hat is gaining popularity among more and more Texans all the time. We thought it would be a nice reminder that there are some dos and don’ts to donning a cowboy hat, so we’ve put together this little list to help the western-wear-newbie sort it all out without offending anyone right out of the gate.

Proper Cowboy Hat Protocol

Donning a Cowboy Hat: The Dos and Don’ts of Stetson Etiquette

Photo: Pexels

  • When speaking with an elder, beginning a conversation with a lady, or meeting a lady for the first time, take off your hat.
  • Same goes for the breakfast, lunch, and supper table – remove your hat to show respect. And when doing so, never set your cowboy hat on the table.
  • Remove your hat when entering a church, when praying, and on entering a home. Consider also doing so in an elevator, and definitely do so if a lady gets on the elevator with you. To be considerate and cover all bases, you might want to remove your hat upon entering any building, for that matter.
  • When holding your hat, aim to keep it close to your chest, or thereabouts. It’s considered ill-mannered to show the inside of your hat while holding it.
  • Tip your cowboy hat when thanking someone, meeting a female acquaintance, or excusing yourself to a lady.
  • Take your hat off for the posting of the American flag and the singing of the National Anthem, as well as funeral processions, and while a casket is passing you during a funeral.
  • Last but not least, never, ever touch another man’s cowboy hat.